While reading through many different articles and watching all sorts of tutorials, there were many things I would like to share to make painting miniatures easier and look better.
1. Know why you are painting. What I mean by that is knowing if you are painting your miniatures only because you want or play war games, or if you are doing it because you want them to look good. If you just want to play war games, that makes the painting process slightly easier. All you have to worry about is making your men look good at a distance. While playing your games, people will not be looking closely at each figure, therefore small imperfections will not be noticed. It may be easiest to paint your army as a whole rather than each individual figure separately. Painting your army this way may even ensure that your army looks more uniform.
If you are painting because you want your miniatures to look goods, then you definitely need to take your time. Rather than painting your guys as a whole, it may be in your best interest, to get the most detail, to paint each individually. If you paint them like this, you can concentrate on the small details that make your minis look more realistic. This is what I am trying to do, paint with as much detail as possible.
2. Don't sweat the small stuff. During your base coat and first layer you are bound to make little mistakes and imperfections. Don't worry about those! There will be plenty of time to fix any mistakes you previously made when you start to touch up your mini. This is advice I need to take myself. I spend so much time trying to make everything so perfect every step of the way, it takes me hours upon hours to finish each mini.
3. There are two key techniques you need to know: Dry Brushing and Washing. After you have painted a layer (or more) of the color you want on your mini, to make them look more dynamic and realistic, you can use either technique or both. Dry Brushing is used to highlight the raised areas of your guys, whereas washing seeps into the cracks and crevices to create shadows. To dry brush, what you want to do is get a good amount of the color you wish to highlight with on your brush. From there you actually want to wipe most of the paint off with a paper towel or rag. Once you can barely see any paint left on the brush, you can start running it over the areas in which you wish to highlight.
To wash your minis, it is basically the opposite of dry brushing. You can buy pre-made washes or make one yourself. If you want to make your own, all you need to do is water down the color you wish to use as a shadow, I usually just take whatever color I used as a layer, add some black to darken the color, then add plenty of water until it is very runny. Then, simply add to the areas in which you want shadows. That simple! Just be sure to let the wash completely dry before doing anything else.
There are many different tutorials on YouTube that demonstrate these techniques. Make sure you check them out!